Friday, January 14, 2011
Verbal Bitch Slaps From William Shakespeare
As you may have noticed, I tend to lean towards immaturity when making a point about something that bothers me. I don't believe there is any point that can't be made better by adding a "shitbreath" or a "cockbag" here and there (double negatives are great too). But I do admit that sometimes I find it difficult to mix up the vocabulary. I mean, there are only so many variations that one can make to the word "dickhead."
That's why I've decided to get a little assistance from The Bard. My mother in law took a trip to England and came back with a desk calendar for me devoted to insults written into the works of William Shakespeare. Every Friday I'm going to share some of my favorites with you. So, let's see how one of history's greatest playwrights calls someone a poopyface.
"Thou whoreson mandrake, though art fitter to be
worn in my cap than to wait at my heels."
--The Second Part of King Henry the Fourth 1.2.14-15
I'm finding out pretty quickly that the best thing about Shakespearean insults is that you know you're being insulted without quite knowing how. To be honest, I have no idea what the hell this is supposed to mean. But I do think whoreson may be my new favorite word.
"No mates for you
Unless you were of gentler, milder mold."
--The Taming of the Shrew 1.1.59-60, Hortensio to Kate
Now this one I definitely get. Apparently Hortensio thinks Kate would get laid a lot more if she weren't such a See You Next Tuesday.
"You have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness."
--Much Ado About Nothing 5.4.41-42.
Now, this seems like a commentary on a person's face being weighed down with a dark, sullen temperament. But I prefer to think of it as "U! G! L! Y! You ain't got no alibi! You ugly! Yeah, yeah! You ugly!"
"Thou art an O without a figure. I am better than
thou art now. I am a fool, thou art nothing."
--King Lear 1.4.183-185, The Fool to King Lear
The insult here isn't nearly as awesome as the context. It's sort of like a bum walking up to Bernie Madoff, laughing in his face, and calling him a douche bag.